Hands-on with Mobile WiMAX Acer Aspire one
I just finished complaining in a previous post about the dearth of WiMax netbooks here at the XOHM event in Baltimore. Then I was invited by Ben Wolff, the CEO of Clearwire, to take a ride in an Intel-pimped mini van to chat about the technology and test it out. And lo and behold there was an Acer Aspire one waiting for me–with Mobile WiMax baked in. So I immediately whipped out my pocket camcorder (the video is below) and started testing the speed of the connection by attempting to play a video from Hulu. At first The Colbert Report clip wouldn’t play, and I had to refresh the page. About 20 seconds are so later we were back in business. The video played smoothly and the audio was in sync with the video. The picture even looked smooth when we blew it up to full screen. Then I surfed over to nytimes.com, and the page started loading in about 7 seconds, and it fully loaded in under 15 seconds. Not mindblowing, but you have to wonder if the results would be better on a more poweful notebook. Last but not least, I surfed over to speedtest.net to do a bandwidth test. The results: 6.7 Mbps on the downlink and 2.8 Mbps on the uplink. I don’t trust these types of benchmarks that much but in general those numbers are nothing to sneeze at. We’re looking into whether this Aspire one was simply a demo unit or if the company is actually bringing a Mobile WiMax-enabled netbook to market. So far the company has only announced two notebooks with an integrated Intel WiMAX/Wi-Fi Link 5050 Series adapter, the 14-inch Aspire 4930-6862 and the 16-inch Aspire 6930-6771.